6.3/10
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20 user 4 critic

The Big Circus (1959)

A circus owner tries to keep his financially troubled circus on the road, despite the efforts of a murderous saboteur who has decided that the show must not go on.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview:
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Henry Jasper 'Hank' Whirling
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Randy Sherman
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Helen Harrison
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Hans Hagenfeld
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...
Skeeter
...
Tommy Gordon
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...
Mr. Lomax
Charles Watts ...
Jonathan T. Nelson
...
Steve Allen
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Storyline

After splitting with his longtime business partner, Hank Whirling is about to take his big top circus on tour. He manages to get a loan and some investment money but has to take on one of their employees, Randy Sherman, to keep an eye on the finances. Sherman immediately hires a new press agent, Helen Harrison, over Hank's objections. After a series of accidents, they soon realize that they have a saboteur in the company. With financial problems increasing, Whirling looks to take the the show to New York City before his former partner Jules Borman can get his circus there. He realizes that he'll need a lot of publicity and trapeze and high wire artist Zach Colino agrees to walk the wire across Niagara Falls. After the circus train is sabotaged - killing Zach's wife and several others - they race to Niagara Falls to complete the high wire act but Zach may not be up it. The saboteur working for Borman bides his time and is planning another death. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

YOU are part of THE BIGGEST SHOW IN THE WORLD! The most exciting behind-the-scenes drama of the Big Top ever told! YOU catapult through the air on a flying trapeze! YOU face the snarling fangs of the King of Beasts! YOU...walk a swaying tight-rope across thundering Niagara! YOU are a human bullet...blasted out of a mighty canon! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 July 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El gran circo  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final film of veteran character actor Dick Rich--he worked exclusively on television until his retirement in 1961. See more »

Goofs

While Red Buttons flirts around the shooting range, a small boy in a checked shirt behind him disappears and reappears between shots. See more »

Connections

Referenced in What's My Line?: Episode dated 28 June 1959 (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

Nearer To Heaven
Music by Sammy Fain, Paul Sawtell and Bert Shefter, Lyrics by Paul Francis Webster
Performed by Gus Levene Orchestra And Chorus
Sung by Rhonda Fleming
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Elephantine entertainment
12 September 2000 | by See all my reviews

A typical Irwin Allen spectacle, this has its moments--the daring publicity stunt involving a tightrope walker crossing Niagara Falls is genuinely exciting--but for the most part is just too prosaic and small-minded to be the blockbuster it was undoubtedly intended to be. It would have helped if Victor Mature's shifty circus owner were either less of a jerk or an out-and-out villain, and certainly if Vincent Price (who seems to have been cast as the ringmaster simply because of his moustache) had been given more to do than to stand around in unbecoming leisure outfits. On the other hand, Peter Lorre (whose presence as a clown alienates both Lorre fans who view it as the ultimate insult to that ill-used actor's dignity, and clownophobes who see it as a confirmation of their worst fears) gives the film a heart and humor it wouldn't have had otherwise.


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